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J Mol Biol. 2004 Apr 30;338(3):453-62.

alpha-L-iduronidase premature stop codons and potential read-through in mucopolysaccharidosis type I patients.

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  • 1Academic Department of Medical Genetics, The Children's Hospital, Westmead, Australia.


alpha-L-Iduronidase is a glycosyl hydrolase involved in the sequential degradation of the glycosaminoglycans heparan sulphate and dermatan sulphate. A deficiency in alpha-L-iduronidase results in the lysosomal accumulation and urinary secretion of partially degraded glycosaminoglycans and is the cause of the lysosomal storage disorder mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I; Hurler and Scheie syndromes; McKusick 25280). The premature stop codons Q70X and W402X are two of the most common alpha-l-iduronidase gene (IDUA) mutations accounting for up to 70% of MPS I disease alleles in some populations. Here, we have reported a new mutation, making a total of 15 different mutations that can cause premature IDUA stop codons and have investigated the biochemistry of these mutations. Natural stop codon read-through was dependent on the fidelity of the codon when evaluated at Q70X and W402X in CHO-K1 cells, but the three possible stop codons TAA, TAG and TGA, had different effects on mRNA stability and this effect was context dependent. In CHO-K1 cells expressing the Q70X and W402X mutations, the level of gentamicin-enhanced stop codon read-through was slightly less than the increment in activity caused by a lower fidelity stop codon. In this system, gentamicin had more effect on read-through for the TAA and TGA stop codons when compared to the TAG stop codon. In an MPS I patient study, premature TGA stop codons were associated with a slightly attenuated clinical phenotype, when compared to classical Hurler syndrome (e.g. W402X/W402X and Q70X/Q70X genotypes with TAG stop codons). Natural read-through of premature stop codons is a potential explanation for variable clinical phenotype in MPS I patients. Enhanced stop codon read-through is a potential treatment strategy for a large sub-group of MPS I patients.

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